ABOUT

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Navigators Global is a full-service issues management, government relations and strategic communications firm located in Washington, D.C. Our senior team members have advised Fortune 500 companies, governmental agencies, political candidates and some of the nation’s most prominent elected officials.

 

Founding Principals Phil Anderson, Jim Pitts, Chris Cox and Cesar Conda formed Navigators Global to provide exclusive services to clients whose needs demand solutions beyond the reach of other firms. By creating an elite team of federal lobbyists, political strategists and communications experts, Navigators Global proudly offers a broad range of services, unrivaled performance and proven results.

Phil Anderson

Founding Principal and President

Phil Anderson has 20 years of experience advising corporations, industries and elected officials on public policy issues. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, he held a series of policy and political positions on Capitol Hill, with the National Republican Party and the George H.W. Bush Administration, including serving as Special Assistant to Vice President Dan Quayle and Deputy Assistant to Republican National Committee Chairman Lee Atwater.

 

Mr. Anderson also served as convention manager for Vice President Quayle and Campaign America at the 1996 Republican National Convention and as deputy director of Governor Carroll A. Campbell’s Victory America. Mr. Anderson formed the Financial Services Coordinating Council (FSCC), and later served as its executive director and led the FSCC to important financial services legislative victories.

 

Named one of Washington’s top lobbyists by The Hill, Mr. Anderson has been a frequent media source with commentary appearing in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, National Journal and Investment News. He has also appeared on CBS 60 Minutes II, CNN, CNBC, FOX NEWS and ABC.

 

In 2004, Mr. Anderson was selected to the advisory board of George Washington University’s Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet. Mr. Anderson is a graduate of Virginia Tech, where he serves as a guest lecturer on politics and advocacy.

Jim Pitts

Founding Principal

A veteran of five presidential campaigns, Jim Pitts brings more than 25 years of experience working at the highest levels in the White House and Congress, and directing federal lobbying and opinion leader campaigns. He specializes in several fields, including energy, tribal affairs, high-tech, homeland security, international relations, and overall public relations and policy strategies.

 

Mr. Pitts previously served as the executive director of the Financial Services Coordinating Council (FSCC). Prior to joining the FSCC, he served as chief of staff to U.S. Senator Spencer Abraham (R-MI). Mr. Pitts is a veteran of two former administrations, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, where he held a number of senior-level executive branch positions in the White House, Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Energy and the Department of Labor.

 

In 1995, he entered the world of journalism as deputy publisher of The Weekly Standard, helping to launch one of the nation’s most respected political opinion publications. Named one of the top Washington lobbyists by The Hill, Mr. Pitts has been a frequent media source on political events. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, ABC News’ Nightline and C-SPAN’s Morning Journal.

 

Mr. Pitts is a graduate of the University of South Carolina.

Christopher Cox

Founding Principal

Chris Cox was most recently a special assistant for legislative affairs for President George W. Bush and brings more than a decade of legislative and political experience in senior positions in the White House and the U.S. House of Representatives.

 

At the White House, Mr. Cox managed and developed legislative strategy on behalf of the president, including taxation, international trade, defense, war on terror, intelligence, foreign policy and veterans’ affairs. He was an integral part of the lobbying campaigns that led to the signing into law of two tax bills, two supplemental appropriations bills, two cycles of defense appropriations and authorizations bills, and new authorization and appropriation of two major presidential initiatives – Global AIDS Relief and the Millennium Challenge Account.

 

An experienced hand in Congress, Mr. Cox served as chief of staff for U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI) and U.S. Representative Robin Hayes (R-NC). Prior to that, Mr. Cox served four years as legislative director for then-U.S. Representative and current U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA).

 

Mr. Cox has been named one of Washington’s top lobbyists by The Hill. He received a Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Illinois.

Cesar Conda

Founding Principal and Policy Advisor

Cesar Conda returned to Navigators Global as founding principal after serving as the first chief of staff for U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). According to The Weekly Standard, Mr. Conda is “a well-known and highly regarded policy wonk, with experience in the executive branch as well as on Capitol Hill.”

 

Mr. Conda served in the Bush-Cheney White House as Assistant to the Vice President for Domestic Policy, where he was “instrumental in devising the Bush tax cuts” according to columnist Robert Novak. He was an advisor to the presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney in 2008 and Bob Dole in 1996. Mr. Conda spent 18 years on Capitol Hill as a senior aide to three U.S. Senators, and was Republican staff director of the Senate Small Business Committee. Roll Call included Mr. Conda in its “Fabulous Fifty” list of the most powerful congressional staffers. In 1999, Mr. Conda received the “Congressional Staffer of the Year Award” from the Information Technology Industry Council.

 

Prior to his Senate career, Mr. Conda was a tax lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Having served on the Board of Directors of the Jack Kemp Foundation, Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Empower America and as co-chair of executive committee of the Susan B. Anthony List, Mr. Conda has deep roots in the conservative think tank community and is described by the Associated Press as one of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s “conservative mentors.” Mr. Conda has successfully represented such blue chip corporate and trade association clients as AT&T, Oracle, Visa, Qualcomm, NextEra Energy, Microsoft, and the American Petroleum Institute, among others.

 

Mr. Conda is a graduate of The College of William and Mary in Virginia.

Andy Keiser

Principal

Andy Keiser served 14 years on Capitol Hill for former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers – as Senior Advisor to the Committee, Chief of Staff, and Legislative Director handling all national security and Energy and Commerce Committee policy issues.

 

As Deputy National Security Senior Advisor to the pre-election phase of the Trump for America transition team, Mr. Keiser prepared and advised the transition’s policy, personnel, and agency action teams on all aspects of the national security portfolio. This included work in the Departments of Defense, State, Justice, and Homeland Security, as well as in the Intelligence Community and the National Security Council.

 

Mr. Keiser was also the head writer for a nationally-syndicated radio program and assisted in the production of the CNN series “Declassified.”

 

Mr. Keiser has a Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University and a Master of Arts from the United States Naval War College. He is active on various national security-focused policy projects at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, where he serves as a Senior Advisor, and at the National Security Institute at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, where he serves as a Fellow. He also is a member of the OSS Society and serves on the Meridian International Center’s Global Leadership Council.

Susan Mboya

Principal and International Advisor

Susan Mboya leads the Navigators Global International Practice. Dr. Mboya previously served as the President of the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation and as the Group Director for Women’s Economic Empowerment for Coca-Cola Eurasia and Africa. She has a substantial background in international politics, including the development and implementation of successful political campaigns in Africa. Dr. Mboya has served in an advisory role to high-level government officials, NGOs, C-Suite executives, and local economic and political leaders and was the First Lady of Nairobi from 2013 to 2017.

 

Dr. Mboya has led numerous multinational sustainability and philanthropic initiatives, including her work with Coca-Cola’s Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), which has provided access to clean water and sanitation to over 3 million beneficiaries. Additionally, Dr. Mboya specializes in programs that promote entrepreneurship, mentorship, and education to women and young people. She is the founder of the Zawadi Africa Educational Fund, which provides scholarships and leadership training to African girls, and is a member of the African Leadership Network.

 

Dr. Mboya received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Connecticut and went on to receive a master’s and doctorate in Industrial Pharmacy from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy.

Susan Nelson

Principal

Susan Nelson has substantial political and legislative expertise, as well as extensive experience working on behalf of corporate clients on business and public policy issues. Before joining Navigators Global, Ms. Nelson was a principal at Gray Loeffler, LLC. She has also held senior positions at other notable public affairs firms, including The Federalist Group and Berman Enterprises, where she served as senior vice president of State Government Affairs.

 

Ms. Nelson brings extensive state and campaign experience to the firm. Most recently she took a sabbatical from the private sector to serve as the national finance director for John McCain 2008, overseeing the entire finance organization for the presidential campaign throughout the primary and general election.

 

Ms. Nelson served as the finance director of the Republican Governors Association, where she was responsible during the 2002 election cycle for overseeing 36 gubernatorial races and raising party funds for them. Her leadership led to record fundraising numbers and victories in the great majority of the races. Before joining the RGA, Ms. Nelson co-owned and operated Eudy Nelson & Associates, a highly regarded Washington, D.C.-based political fundraising company. She also served as national and Political Action Committee consultant to numerous U.S. Senators and campaigns.

Ado A. Machida

Senior Strategist

Prior to joining Navigators, Ado Machida served as the Director of Policy Implementation for the Trump Transition effort. In this role, he was responsible for managing the advancement of Day 1/Day 100/Day 200 action plans for the Trump Administration. Mr. Machida and his team developed over two hundred Executive Orders, Secretarial Guidance, regulatory change, and legislative proposals to achieve the campaign promises then-Candidate Donald J. Trump articulated. In addition, Mr. Machida briefed Secretary-nominees on policy issues and guided them through the confirmation process.

 

Mr. Machida previously served as Chief Domestic Policy Officer for Vice President Cheney and as Assistant to the Republican Leader, Senator Bob Dole. He is also the past President of the International Stability Operations Association, which represented 50+ corporate members to both the Executive and Legislative branches. Additionally, Mr. Machida is the former Vice President of Government Relations at defense manufacturer BAE Systems.

 

Mr. Machida is bilingual in English and Japanese and possesses law degrees from Kyoto University and New York University Law School. He also attended Columbia University and Harvard Business School. Mr. Machida resides in Northern Virginia with his wife of 20 years, their six children, and their family dog.

Tom Trask

Thomas Trask

Senior Strategist – Security, Defense & Space

After over 30 years in the United States Air Force, General Thomas Trask joined Navigators as the senior strategist for the Security, Defense & Space Practice. Most recently, General Trask served as Vice Commander of the Headquarters U.S. Special Operations Command, in which role he was responsible for planning, coordinating, and executing actions with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Services and other government agencies in the National Capital Region on behalf of the Commander USSOCOM. During his service, General Trask also worked with the White House and Congress to ensure appropriations for special operations were utilized effectively and with minimal risk to special operators.

 

General Trask’s expertise is highly valued within the national security and defense sector. In addition to his role at Navigators, he serves as a Director for CAE USA Mission Solutions, is a member of the Military Advisory Board for FLIR Inc., serves as Senior Fellow for the Center for Naval Analysis in Arlington, Virginia, and is a member of the Professional Advisory Board for the College of Security and Intelligence at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Arizona.

 

General Trask has a Bachelor’s degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Master’s degrees in international relations from Troy State University, in national security and strategic studies from Naval War College, and in airpower art and science from the School of Advanced Airpower Studies.

Doug Distaso

Vice President of Legislative Affairs – Security, Defense & Space

After over 25 years in the United States Air Force, Doug Distaso joined Navigators to lead the Security, Defense & Space Practice. Mr. Distaso recently retired from assignment at the Pentagon for the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), as the Special Assistant to the Vice Commander. In that position, he crafted executive-level interagency engagement strategies designed to increase both the budget and operational authorities of our nation’s most elite warriors. Mr. Distaso also played the lead role in integrating Special Operations Forces (SOF) into the Third Offset Strategy and the high-end future of war, given explosive growth in technology opportunities globally.

 

Between Mr. Distaso’s many operational assignments, he was fortunate to serve as a primary legislative affairs lead for two USSOCOM commanders. During that tenure billions of dollars’ worth of SOF aircraft, training capacity, and technology were added to Appropriations Legislation, while military construction projects quadrupled for aviation units. His efforts alone grew the House and Senate SOF Caucus by 300%.

 

From 2000-2015 Mr. Distaso commanded over 3,500 aviation, maintenance, and support personnel globally. This operational focus allowed successes in counter-terrorism hotspots from Europe to the Pacific.

 

Mr. Distaso graduated from the United States Air Force Academy and continued his education at Johns-Hopkins University.

José A. Fuentes

Vice President of Legislative Affairs

José Fuentes has served in all branches of government at the federal, state and local levels. Mr. Fuentes began his career in the U.S. House of Representatives before becoming an advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney and overseeing communications for the United State Agency on International Development (USAID). Following his government service, Mr. Fuentes became the Senior Director of External and Public Affairs for TracFone Wireless, Inc., a telecommunications service provider in the United States. In this position, Mr. Fuentes initiated several strategic programs and managed significant public policy positions before Congress, the FCC and state legislatures.

 

Prior to joining Navigators Global, Mr. Fuentes also served as director for eGov at eMerge Americas, a B2B tech event. He orchestrated bringing both the public and private sector together to discuss innovative ways governments can enhance their citizens through technology.

 

Mr. Fuentes is a graduate of the University of Miami.

Sarah-Rogers

Sarah Rogers

Vice President of Legislative Affairs

Sarah Rogers is a key member of the Navigators Global government relations and issues management practice. She brings a top tier legislative and political acumen from her extensive experience working in the private sector and public officials.

 

Ms. Rogers joined the Navigators team from Walmart, where she served as the Director of Federal Government Affairs for over six years. In that role, she led the company’s outreach efforts with U.S. House of Representatives Republican offices, advanced its extensive legislative priorities, collaborated with outside organizations such as coalitions and trade associations, and managed its federal labor relations and veterans’ portfolios.

 

An accomplished fixture in Congress, Ms. Rogers previously served as the Chief of Staff to Representative Patrick Meehan (R-PA). Her prior tenure also included roles with the offices of Representative Michael Conaway (R-TX) and then-Congressmen Randy Forbes (R-VA) and Curt Weldon (R-PA).

 

In addition to her public and private sector work, Ms. Rogers is a member of the Board of Trustees at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater DC-Maryland Chapter. She is a graduate of Ursinus College in Pennsylvania. Ms. Rogers lives in McLean, Virginia with her husband, John, and daughters, Grace and Claire.

Sarah-Rogers

Lori Kuhns

Senior Vice President

Lori Kuhns joined Navigators Global in 2003 and oversees the firm’s business operations. Ms. Kuhns teams with the firm’s president and founding principal to facilitate the general administration and financial management of the firm.

 

Ms. Kuhns has over 20 years of experience in government relations project management, administrative services and event planning.  Prior to joining Navigators Global, Ms. Kuhns served in a number of senior-level administrative positions in the financial services and insurance industry.

 

Ms. Kuhns attended Oklahoma State University and is an active volunteer for various political campaigns at the state and local levels.

Samantha Rose

Vice President of Communications

Samantha Rose oversees all communications activities for Navigators Global and Navigators Compass. She is responsible for the development and implementation of marketing and communication plans to support client advocacy and legislative objectives. Ms. Rose works with clients to create a compelling and cohesive narrative, tailor it to key audiences, and drive its delivery across multiple channels, including print, digital, social media, and broadcast. She blends traditional and new media techniques to establish campaigns that build brand awareness, advance strategic goals, and generate measurable results for clients.

 

Ms. Rose – a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles – joined Navigators in 2015. She brings to Navigators strong experience in communications and marketing, along with a polished skillset in writing and online content management. Before Navigators, Ms. Rose led media and advertising for an arts center; developed and advanced a marketing strategy for an economic revitalization nonprofit; and led online communications for a leading restaurant establishment in Southern California.

Tim Hagood

Director, Advocacy

Tim Hagood produces a variety of compelling written communications, including press releases, marketing collateral, and client support materials. He also engages in various research projects and provides support to business operations.

 

Prior to joining Navigators, Mr. Hagood served as the in-house publicist for a small press publisher in Richmond, Virginia.

 

Mr. Hagood is a graduate of James Madison University in Virginia.

Julia Furey

Administrative Assistant

Julia Furey supports the Executive Committee and business operations at Navigators. Ms. Furey is also responsible for coordination and execution of the firm’s events and manages the summer internship program. She brings to Navigators a strong background in event planning, including experience creating, organizing and implementing bilingual events in the community.

 

Prior to joining Navigators, Ms. Furey worked in the healthcare industry. She is a graduate of St. Mary’s College of Maryland and University of Maryland School of Nursing.